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The Jury of the 39th Infant composed of Jury Members Milica Konstantinović and Miloš Sofrenović, and Jury Chairman Milan Belegišanin praises the diversity of the selection of this year’s festival which covers the ground from the border forms to the top-class anesthetisation. We have been offered a wide range of productions different in style, form and performing practice, ranging from authenticity of the experienced, through miniature, the power of the gesture and the drama of the action, to accentuating style and an organic unity of several styles and practices. Although it is not a custom at this festival to give commendations, this year’s Jury is making an exception because of the undoubted quality and poetics which has marked the entire festival and gives a commendation to the play ‘The Fish Fisherman’ of The Lutin Theatre from France. The chastity of sailing the seas of this play returns our belief into fairy-tales.

Considering the rest of the selection, the Jurors have reached the following decisions.
The prize for the extraordinary expressivity in the border areas between the theatre and other arts, or creativity in the widest sense, is awarded unanimously to two productions:  The AKHE Theatre from Russia, with the play ‘Pookh & Prakh’ and the Mladinsko Theatre, with the play ‘Re-de-construction: Class Enemy’. In the play ‘Pookh & Prakh’ the art of painting is established as the foundation of the triangle of action. The intelligent associations are developed from a pile of rubble and bits and pieces, which gives a vision of beauty to the contemporary galimatias of rejected objects. The plot which could be described as ‘Carpe diem’ in the world where everything is transient, where dumpsters are the only things that multiply, creates a tractate about the fragility of a moment caught, and its potentially devastating power. Above all, the play makes the border between the classical and avant-garde theatre porous.

The play ‘Re-de-construction: Class Enemy’ moves the borders of the spectacle to the authenticity of the experienced, both on the conscious and the unconscious level, thus producing a creative aggressiveness which attacks all the spectator’s senses. ‘Class Enemy’ poses the question of when exactly the theatre stops to be the theatre and becomes life by a very distinctive treatment of the performer’s space and elements within it.

The prize for the most original exploration into one of the segments of theatrical language is unanimously awarded to the troupe ‘Via Negativa’ from Slovenia, for the play ‘MandićMachine’, more accurately, for the extraordinary performance of postmodernism and its principles. The play ‘MandićMachine’ calls for a clever and educated spectator, but also re-examines the ability of the audience to understand and accept the actor as himself. Marko’s ability to bring the characters who have built his career with nonchalance and charm, powerfully and persuasively, but also to sincerely and directly communicate with the ‘small gods’ in the audience, without a fear of disclosure, poses the question of what is left when the actor takes off the skin of his last role? Substance or nothingness?

The prize for the most successful experiment – a performance as a whole is unanimously awarded to the BITEF DANCE COMPANY, for ‘The Divine Comedy’ choreographed by Edward Clug. Edward Clug, in collaboration with eight dancers of the BITEF DANCE COMPANY, has created a perfect amalgam of poetry and dance thus proving his choreographic and dancing sovereignty. Through a seventy-five-minute dialogue with one of the capital pieces of Western European literary tradition – Dante’s Divine Comedy – the choreographer has utilised the great dancing as well as acting potential of the ensemble in which each individual is characteristic, but, at the same time, the entire ensemble is coherent. Dante’s trilogy (Heaven, Purgatory and Hell) presents actualisation of this text on the one hand, while on the other, it keeps and supports Aristotle’s archetypal principle of the unity of time, place and action. The play achieves a remarkable balance between directing, choreography, and the design of set, costume, lighting and sound, backed by an inspired dancing of all the dancers and a mature choreographer’s handwriting, and supported by a vigilant director’s eye.

Member of the Jury:
Milan Belegišanin, Chairman
Milica Konstantinović
Miloš Sofrenović